Game Front’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Page 1: Intro | Page 2: Games | Page 3: Gaming Peripherals | Page 4: PC Components

Halo 4

Price: $59.99
Buy It On: XBOX 360
Buy It For: The men you know under 40 that love throwing grenades at Space Marines (hint: that’s practically all of them)
Buy It From: Amazon
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: 343 Industries
Genre: First-person Shooter
ESRB: M
Release Date: 11/6/2012

Since its inception in 2001, Halo multiplayer has been the bane of homework, chores, and professional responsibilities. Now curated by new developers 343 Industries, the mode has reached the peak of carefully calibrated perfection. Old-school players may decry the arrival of Call of Duty-style ordinance drops and other trendy touches, but complaints will be easily remedied by a few shots with the DMR, a powerful rifle doing its damndest to bring back pistol sniping. Other innovations, including Halo 4′s new suite of alien weapons, are well-balanced and fun; the entire system feels streamlined and polished. For the holidays, give the gift of those awesome beeps your hear when another round of Halo is counting down from 0:05.

Dishonored

Price: $59.99
Buy It On: PC
Buy It For: Your easily enraged, prone-to-yelling-hilariously-when-losing roommate
Buy It From: Amazon
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Arkane Studios
Genre: First-person Shooter/Stealth
ESRB: M
Release Date: 10/09/12

Fans of latter-day stealth greats like Deus Ex and Thief, Dishonored is for you. Combining multiple paths through each level and to solving each objective with supernatural powers, a steampunk theme and a number of phenomenal gadgets for dismembering enemies, Dishonored provides a quality stealth experience that feels like mainstays of the genre, while introducing a number of cool new elements. The superpowers are where the game really shines, as they give players the ability to possess animals and enemies, teleport short distances, and even summon rats to devour unfortunate guards. Arkane also has built a fully realized, deep world that can really be a joy to explore. Take your time and listen to the conversations of your enemies before you descend upon them with your sword — they’re worth it.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Price: $59.99
Buy It On: Xbox 360
Buy It For: Your easily angered roomate who yells hilarious things at people online; your CoD-crazy (insert relation here — there are a lot of them).
Buy It From: Amazon
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch
Genre: First-person Shooter
ESRB: M
Release Date: 11/13/12

Sure, it’s a fair criticism to say that most of the Call of Duty games are pretty fundamental similar, and Treyarch’s latest continues to hew close to the formula. But the second entry into the Black Ops 2 sub-franchise has actually pushed that formula in new directions, adding some real-time strategy elements, some choice-based story elements, multiple endings, and a much more robust Zombies mode. You get lots of new stuff in addition to tweaks to the well-loved multiplayer mode — it’s really just a whole lot of content. We recommend going with the Xbox version over the PC, however, as it seems to run a little better.

Assassin’s Creed 3

Price: $59.99
Buy It On: Playstation 3
Buy It For: Your history-obsessed, assassination-loving dad; your conspiracy nut cousin.
Buy It From: Amazon
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: Third-person Stealth
ESRB: M
Release Date: 11/13/12

The culmination of the Assassin’s Creed “trilogy” (of five games) takes players to the American Revolution for their time-traveling assassination spree. There, you take on the role of Connor, a Native American member of the Assassins who finds himself embroiled in the revolution as he works to take down the illusive and conspiratorial templars. You also take part in the war, meet a number of the Founding Fathers, fight a huge number of Redcoats and even captain your own ship. Assassin’s Creed 3 is definitely the most expansive and diverse of the games so far. Grab it on Playstation 3 (since the PC version isn’t out yet, we haven’t tried it), where you get the benefit of a few extra missions.

Borderlands 2

Price: $59.99
Buy It On: PC
Buy It For: Anyone who can’t help laughing at a funeral.
Buy It From: Amazon
Publisher: Take Two
Developer: Gearbox Software
Genre: First-person Shooter
ESRB: M
Release Date: 09/18/12

If Archer, Office Space and Bulletstorm artificially inseminated Fallout, the baby would be Borderlands 2. Fully embracing the ridiculous idea that a space western can channel Upton Sinclair through an 80s action movie script, it’s smart enough that high brow gamers won’t feel like they’re slumming and dumb enough that you never have to think too hard about how awesome it is to blow things up. Combat is fast paced, quests are varied, classes are distinct and the weapons are a hoot. Simply put, it’s an instant classic, and worth every penny.

Page 1: Intro | Page 2: Games | Page 3: Gaming Peripherals | Page 4: PC Components

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